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When we look at how personal care, hair care, skin care is usually marketed, it’s almost always targeted towards women. Unfortunately, men aren’t encouraged to take care of themselves in the same way women are and we think that’s a shame. It’s the same in the sustainability front. Men are less likely to live sustainable lifestyles or adopt sustainable practices, which is also unfortunate.
We think self care and sustainability are for everyone regardless of sex or gender. So, in that spirit and with a lot of help from the men in our lives, here’s our little guide to the basics of personal care for men, plus a couple of suggestions to make sure you guys out there are still being sustainable while giving yourselves the self care you deserve.
This is pretty easy, and probably a category that a lot of men already have a pretty good handle on. The basics for this category are just your shampoo, conditioner, and a styling product or two. Depending on your hair type and the style you like to keep it in, a good comb or brush is also a good idea.
Brands like B Corp certified Davines make sustainable hair care products for both men and women, like their popular Momo shampoo and conditioner. Or if you’d like to try some bar products for your hair, Ethique, another B Corp certified brand, has a few to choose from. Their Frizz Wrangler shampoo bar and The Guardian conditioner bar are great for those who want to keep the frizz at bay.
As for stylers, cruelty-free brand Brickell, which features organic ingredients in their formulations makes a Flexible Hold Wax Pomade for Men. Cruelty-free and natural brand Hunter Lab also make a Natural Hair Pomade, all the ingredients of which you can actually have a look at on their website.
We’re sure we don’t need to tell you that you need some kind of soap or body wash and some deodorant, but there’s a couple of additional things that we think are quite essential but a lot of men seem to skip - lotion and sunscreen. Dry, flaky elbows and knees are not attractive and neither is skin cancer so consider adding these items to your essentials.
Australian cruelty-free brand Sukin has tons of affordable options for you in this area. Give their Signature Botanical Body Wash try, or, if you have sensitive skin, then their Soap Free Body Wash might be for you. They also have many variants of body lotion to choose from.
Another brand to check out would be Biode, which has a whole range of body care products that come in home compostable packaging - even their deodorants.
When it comes to sunscreen, there’s tons of great sustainable brands to choose from. The important thing is to make sure that your sunscreen is reef safe so you can stay safe under the sun and marine life can stay safe under the water. Brands like MOTHER SPF, Skinnies, Raw Elements, among others, are all ones you can try.
A good face cleanser to get the day’s dirt off your face is a must. (Please stop using regular soap if you haven’t yet) After a good cleanse, if you don’t want to get into a full-on, multi-step skincare routine, a good moisturiser and lip balm will do you a world of good in the way of avoiding dry, flaky skin and lips. And just like with the rest of your body, don’t forget a good sunscreen - it does more than keep you safe from sunburn, it'll also keep your skin safe from premature aging caused by sun exposure.
For these, you can check out vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free brand Grown Alchemist, which offers a range of unisex personal care products, Their Gentle Gel Facial Cleanser would be suitable for all skin types while their Tri-Peptide Lip Treatment made of violet leaf extract would be great for those of you who suffer from dry lips.
Australian brand Natio is another one to check out. Their moisturizer for men already has SPF, so that’s two steps in your skincare rolled into one. American brand Raw Elements also makes a 95% organic, water-resistant, reef-safe sunscreen that is also non-GMO and cruelty-free.
Depending on how you like to keep your facial hair, you have different options. You can either go for a clipper or razor. If you like a clean shave, a good shaving cream, foam, or soap is essential. And if you’re growing a ‘stache this Movember or just like keeping a beard, consider a good facial hair conditioner like a beard oil to keep it from getting scratchy, and depending on how long you like to keep your beard and mustache, a styling product like wax or spray.
Vegan and cruelty-free men’s skincare brand Bulldog has a good selection of products for this area of your personal care routine. They have a whole range of men’s care products including a whole line of products for facial hair. Try their Original Beard Oil and Original Beard Balm if you keep a beard. If you like a clean shave, their Original Bamboo Razor and Aftershave Balm might be for you.
Again, this is an easy one. Your usuals are all in here - toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and a mouthwash. We’re sure you’ve got this covered. However, when it’s time to replenish your supply or change your toothbrush, maybe try switching to products from more sustainable brands.
Oral care brands like Keeko and PearlBar make entire ranges of sustainable swaps for oral care products. You can also find a whole array of different kinds of bamboo toothbrushes in the market now, both from those two brands, and many other small, independent stores around the world. If you can find a local store that sells them, we suggest supporting your local economy by switching to their bamboo toothbrushes.
Here’s where you can have a bit of fun with perfumes or colognes or pick and choose things that you might need depending on your lifestyle, skin type, etc. If you have dark spots, add a serum that addresses that. If you get dry around your eye area, add an eye cream to your routine. This bit is all up to your preference and personal needs.
Whatever products you choose to go with, just remember that to keep your self care routine sustainable, look for products or brands that use formulas free from well-known nasties like palm oil, opt for ones with reusable, compostable, or recyclable packaging wherever possible, and always look for sustainability certifications for cruelty-free, vegan, organic, or other claims.
You obviously don’t have to do all this in one go - small changes still mean progress. And we encourage men everywhere to take a look at your routines and see if there’s anything more you can do for your own self care. You deserve to be pampered, that’s not just for women, and you deserve to feel good about yourself while also feeling good about making a positive impact on your environment.
Also, as it is November, we encourage everyone to check out the Movember Foundation. If you are able, please consider participating in their events and activities or donating to them. They work to raise awareness for men’s issues such as prostate and testicular cancer, men’s mental health, and suicide prevention.
Let us know in the comments if you think we missed anything. And if you have any suggestions and favorite sustainable men’s care products, share them in the comments as well!